Welcome to the July-August issue of Grocery Trader. It is with some relief that we have seen the country start to move out of lockdown and back to some sort of normality. In an Industry Focus interview, Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK Head of Retailer and Business Insight, shares that Covid-19 meant a transfer of spend from the out of home channel to buying food at supermarkets. The supermarket industry went from being flat in 2019 to growing around 10% in June 2020.

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We also spoke to Charlotte Scott, Kantar’s Consumer Insight Director, in an Industry Profile, who agreed with Mike that take-home grocery sales grew very significantly during lockdown, with most categories doing well.

As company mission statements go, JUUL has a big one: to transition the world’s one billion adult smokers away from cigarettes. John Patterson, Sales Director UK at JUUL Labs, tells us in a Supplier Spotlight interview about the brand’s rapid rise and how it has been the major growth driver in the vaping category.

The worst of Covid-19 may (hopefully) be over but the economic impact is likely to be felt for some time to come. Biscuits will provide consumers with an affordable treat during the recession says Burton’s Biscuit Company’s Managing Director Simon Browne in a Supplier Spotlight interview.

Summer is here and it’s a crucial time for the drinks category. Retailers can win by keeping the drinks chilled, says our Beers, Lagers & Summer Drinks feature.

Often called the most important meal of the day, the breakfast occasion now includes cereals, mueslis, snack bars and toppings. Grocery Trader’s breakfast feature reports on all the different options available.

With children returning to the classroom in September, grocery retailers can capture extra sales from kids’ drinks and snacks, according to our Back to School feature.

The tobacco category is being driven by consumer demand for value, a trend likely to be accelerated by the menthol ban, says our tobacco feature.

Tesco has been showing remarkable resilience during challenging times, with sales for the first quarter of 2020/21 in UK and ROI up 9.2% to £12.2bn, our news pages report.

Lidl also has positive news, announcing it will be opening one store a week for the next six months, creating up to 1,000 new jobs by the end of the year.

Aldi is doing its bit for the environment, announcing an ambitious new commitment to reduce the volume of plastic packaging used by 50% by 2025.

All of which, we hope, provides reasons to be cheerful. Enjoy reading the issue and we’ll see you in the next one.

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